Andrew Fiskness

Andy Fiskness is a devoted fly fisherman from Maplewood.

Posts about Fishing

Evening trout fishing

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: June 19, 2009 - 1:04 PM
Last Friday my wife Sue and I decided we would go fishing in the evening after work.  We assembled the waders and fly rods and headed over to western Wisconsin.  After a quick bite to eat we got to the river around 7:00 allowing us a couple hours of light.  I had decided to go to one of my favorite spots, which must be a few other fishermen’s favorite spot as there were a couple cars there when we arrived.  I chose this spot since it had been a season or two since Sue last trout fished and I knew it was an easier location to fish than others.  She is a novice and enjoys fly fishing, but has only cast to trout a few times so hopes were high for good conditions. 

We walked down to the river and watched for a minute or two as the trout were eagerly taking flies off the surface.  We decided to try a sulphur dry fly to start.  I coached Sue through a few casts to warm up and refreshed her memory on reading the water.  Soon enough we were each catching fish.  Most fish seemed to like a nice dead drift with no drag on the surface, but there were a couple fish that seemed stimulated by a little drag.

We fished a couple pools working our way up stream slowly.  The combination of low light and a strong hatch also seemed to prevent the fish from getting spooked to easily.  There was many times that when casting to specific fish a different and unexpected one came up and took a fly right next to the fly line.   We also didn’t need to rest the pools after a hooked brown zig-zagged it way through.

The night came to an end when we could no longer see the fly to tie a new one on.  This seemed like a sign to call it a night.  I probably could have planned better and brought a flashlight, but I will save that fishing for some other night.  We both had a lot fun and this evening got us both excited for our upcoming trip to fish for rainbows in California.

Casting to Rising Trout

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: June 10, 2009 - 10:17 PM

Right now is one of my favorite times of the year for trout fishing.  I like so many other trout fisherman love casting to rising trout.  Being able to see the fish actually take the fly definitely makes it more exciting for me.  This past weekend I was out at the Rush River in Wisconsin in the cold and drizzle and the weather did not slow the hatch down at all.  There were quite a few sections of the river where fish were constantly coming up to the surface. 

When I started out on the river many dun mayflies were floating on the surface, which appeared to be blue wing olives and sulphurs.  So I decided to start with a sulphur dun pattern.  After catching a few nice trout it appeared that the fish were taking emergers more than duns, so I switched to a sulphur emerger.  The emerger seemed too worked well for a while, but not the magic fly.  Even though the hatch was fairly prolific and constant, what the fish were taking definitely varied throughout the day.  I found that I was changing flies often from duns to emergers with varying color and all of them seemed to produce a few fish.

I ended the day not remembering how many trout I did catch.  It was a mixed bag of some small colorful brookies and the rest were brown trout.  It was a fun day of fishing and I hope to be able to get out soon and enjoy some good dry fly fishing. 

Fishing with friends

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: May 27, 2009 - 8:19 AM

A little over a week ago the St. Paul Fly Tiers and Fisherman's Club had our annual panfish outing at an east metro lake. The date had been chosen months in advance hoping that the weather would cooperate. It turned out to be a warm sunny day and the fish were eager to bite. This made for a great day for fishing.

The group of about a dozen men and women meet at the lake in the morning hoping that fishing would be good. We showed up equipped with several canoes, float tube, lawn chairs and plenty of food. The small private lake offered good fishing for anyone willing to cast a line whether from shore or from a canoe.

I brought my float tube to allow access to other portions of the lake. I started by going with my old faithful fly, a tiny yellow popper with rubber legs. The bright sunny day had the fish looking up to the surface and taking the popper aggressively. I caught a bunch of nice bluegills, sunfish and a few bass that didn't read the fishing regulations. All of the fish were returned to the lake unharmed. Some of the others in the group also caught some nice sized crappies.

Shore lunch consisted of homemade lasagna with salad, bread and fresh brownies. Lunch was great and provided the forum for everybody to share fishing stories and discuss which flies worked best. The outing turned out to be a great day for everybody.

Don't forget about panfish

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: May 12, 2009 - 11:13 PM

I know there are good hatches right now on the rivers and bait fisherman are out in the boats again going after walleye, but it is also a great time to go panfish fishing. Many people often overlook panfish once the seasons for game fish have opened, but yet they probably call tell you a bunch of lakes that have good fishing for panfish. 

Panfish can be readily caught on a fly rod and make for a fun time on the water.  If you are new to fly fishing, sunfish and crappies make an excellent target to work on your cast all while still actually being catchable for a beginner.  I have gone out with quite a few other friends who were new to fly fishing to help them catch some fish on a fly rod.  Often the casts are poor and before they realize it a sunfish has come up and taken the tiny popper, or some other fly.  A fish on the line always make fishing more fun.

When it comes to fishing rods, I would recommend something between a 3-weight to a 6-weight rod and line.  Reels will only be used for holding the line, as the hooked fish are not going to run and get into your backing.  Panfish usually do not get spooked from the line so a five to seven foot light leader works great. 

I like fishing for panfish using a popper, as I find surface fishing more fun.  Other small nymphs, dry flies, terrestrials and streamers also work well.  As for poppers a small one about the size of a pencil eraser is my favorite.  White, yellow, green and black are my favorite colors.  I usually bring a good variety some with rubber legs some without.  That way I can see if one pattern is working better than another.  Remember to pinch the barb as it will make removing the hook a lot easier.

Both crappie and sunfish will be available in shallow water for probably the next week or so, but then the crappies will be done spawning leaving only sunfish shallow.  It is a great time to go and be out on the water.

Brule River

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: May 5, 2009 - 10:13 AM
This past Sunday I made the trip up to the Brule River with a couple other members of the the St. Paul Fly Tiers and Fisherman's Club.  We arrived on the river mid-morning to a beautiful sunny day, not the image that comes to mind when you think of steelheading.  We decided to start fishing downstream of US 2 even though the whole river is now open for fishing.  The first spot we stopped at had one other car in the lot.  We suited up and hiked down to the path to the river, which was at good flow, but still a little off color. 

The three of us started fishing our way up stream.  We were using yarn flies and smaller x-legs or stoneflies.  We fished a bunch of holes on one side of the river with no luck and then fished our way back to car on the other side of the river with the same results.  We continued on to a several of other spots mixing up colors and sizes of the flies, it just wasn't our day.  The day resulted in no fish, but it definately was not for lack of effort.  We talked with several other fisherman on river who had similar reports.

So now I guess I will put away the steelheading until fall and concentrate on trout.